Little Wonder Blowers Power International Ride-on Dragster Challenge

US and UK team up in power tool drag racing event.

Southampton, PA, September 16, 2008 --( Drag racing originated in the U.S., and to millions of the motorsports fans it’s considered as American as apple pie and Rock n’ Roll. Once the secret Saturday night pastime of post World War II rebellious teenagers smokin’ for pinks - Drag Racing has become a sport that boasts an estimated 68 million race fans in the United States alone. If American ingenuity could transform a street car into a hot rod dragster – its mind boggling what Americans can do with everyday power tools! In power tool drag racing you can take just about anything with an engine or a motor and send it screaming down a track. It’s not exactly clear when the weekend warriors of the garage first created their mini-speed demons and held their first races, but the unique motorsport got its first cameo on the 90’s television show Robot Wars (which later became Battle Bots), and now coverage can be found on an abundance of cable network channels and the internet’s popular You-Tube. Power Tool Drag Racing has become the unofficial motorsport of the Do-It-Yourselfer. Anyone with a little inventor’s spirit can create and race a power tool dragster in various events held throughout the U.S. each year.

In 2006, UK based Silverline Tools - who sponsor a variety of top UK racing teams in autocross, hosted the UK’s first Power Tool Drag Race at the Haynes International Motor Museum in Somerset, England to the joy of over 6,000 British spectators. One of the popular races of the (now annual) day-long racing event is the power tool ride-on competition. In 2007, UK Team “Thunder Wonder” constructed a ride-on dragster from a Little Wonder 9 hp walk-behind blower, thanks to a donation from the U.S. based Little Wonder. “We needed to find a power tool strong enough to speed a dragster with a driver around a track without powering the dragster directly from the engine”, stated Team Thunder Wonder captain and driver, Declan Hicks. “The Little Wonder blower was more than up to challenge and performed beyond our expectations,” continued Hicks. “When you consider that the dragster is not actually powered by the engine of the blower unit, but solely by the wind force produced by the blower itself, it is certainly a tribute to the quality and power of Little Wonder blowers.” concluded Hicks.

For 2008, Little Wonder supplied the blowers to power two separate entries in the ride-on power equipment drag race category. The Gadget Show utilized a Little Wonder 9 hp Optimax Blower (new to the Little Wonder line in late 2007) from which they crafted a bicycle style dragster for the race. Team Little Wonder, a joint venture between the UK and the US, recycled last year’s Team Thunder Wonder dragster to create a more American looking long body hot rod dragster. Again, both units were powered only by the force of the air flow emitted from the blowers. “The race was a good spirited rivalry fueled by drag racing intensity”, stated Howard Kaplan, Team Little Wonder driver and Marketing Services Director for the U.S. based Little Wonder. “I was easily doing 25-30 mph through the track on the traditional long body dragster. The bicycle style dragster was going even faster than that though, easily 35-40 mph or more. It’s remarkable how fast both of the units were able to race through the serpentine style track strictly on the power of the air flow emitted from the blowers – it was pretty exhilarating.” concluded Kaplan.

Adding to the intrigue of this particular race is the little known fact that the Little Wonder brand is actually a UK native - once a brand of Hedge Trimmer offered by Detra Manufacturing until 1935 when the Pennsylvania based Schiller-Pfeiffer, Inc., acquired the Little Wonder Hedge Trimmer and went on to expand the Little Wonder brand to a multitude of landscaping and debris management products including its world-famous line of commercial walk-behind blowers. “Since the Little Wonder brand was actually born in the UK, this race is more like a homecoming event for the brand,” admitted Kaplan. “It’s the inventor’s spirit that is celebrated through this sport and we are proud to be a part of it because it’s that same spirit that has been the driving force in the growth of the Little Wonder brand for the past 85 years,” concluded Kaplan.

Want to learn how to build a blower dragster? Visit the You-Tube website to see how Team Thunder Wonder crafted their traditional long body dragster.

To learn more about Little Wonder products and to follow all of the action of Little Wonder Racing, visit their website or call Little Wonder toll-free 1-877-596-6337.

Schiller-Pfeiffer, Inc.
Linda Beattie
215-357-5110 X1423